Publishers’ Letter – Winter 2021

pUBLISHERS' LETTER - Winter 2021

A Year of Transition and Renewal

Our industry prepares to get back on the road again.


AS WE ARE ALL PAINFULLY AWARE, 2020 was a transformative year as trade shows and face-to-face meetings became endangered species. But as we begin to see more than just a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, we’ve been discussing with our clients how 2021 will develop as trade groups begin to host live events and manufacturers are prepping for their road warriors to get back into action.

As we go to press for our Winter issue, Lightovation is putting on their event live at the Dallas Market Center in late March. The center has actually been open to the trade under strict guidelines, requiring masks, limited numbers in each of the showrooms and appropriate social distancing. So it remains to be seen how much of a draw Lightovation will get from outside the Dallas metro area.
CEDIA Expo is also scheduled as a live event this coming September. Again, it remains to be seen how many vendors will be participating and what the live attendance numbers will transpire. But as the numbers of those infected continues to decline and vaccinations pick up, we will get to critical mass sometime this year if everyone keeps their guard up. So how will you be adapting in this transition year?

We’ve been advising clients to continue to reach out via livestream and original content in order to release new products and services, update supply chain and pricing policies, and inspire dealers and end-users to invest in technologies that have a profound impact on healthy environments – clean air, purified water, lighting and climate control that mimics our circadian rhythm – as we all are and will continue to spending increased hours indoors.

And as trade shows begin to come back to life, how will we communally and responsibly conduct these gatherings? Best guess scenarios indicate that conventions will rebound with substantially fewer numbers in attendance, so a combination of live and virtual will be the name of the game for the rest of the year. This calls for a multi-faceted approach to getting your message out to your dealer base – perhaps live seminars that are simulcast, or pre-taped booth tours and pre-taped keynote speeches. Creating dynamic presentations is difficult in the best of times, so our mutual challenge this year is to take what we have virtually learned and combine that with effective live presentations.

We are looking forward to getting back on the road ourselves. There really isn’t anything like sitting down with clients and strategizing. Our portfolio of website developments, newsletters, quarterly digital magazines, livestream events and other content generation thrives when we can visit job sites and dealer showrooms to get up close and personal with the people we interview. Like everyone else, this will be a year of transition and renewal for our entire team.


Technology Designer


Steven Weber


Ilene Chase